The planned increase in Air Passenger Duty (APD), announced last year, means that a family of four will be forced to hand up to £376 to the Government every time it flies from a British airport.
In his Budget statement, George Osborne said he was “bringing business to our shores with competitive taxes”, adding “I want to send a message to anyone who wants to invest here, to create jobs – Britain is open for business.”
The decision to press ahead with the rise in APD, despite such assurances, was quickly criticised by the travel industry.
“It’s beyond belief that the Chancellor has put beer before aviation,” said Dale Keller, chief executive of the Board of Airline Representatives in the UK (BAR UK). “We have listened to much talk from the Government about the UK being in a global economic race and the importance for the UK to become more competitive, yet airlines, among the most global of businesses; continue to be hammered by the highest aviation tax in the world.”
Darren Caplan, chief executive of the Airport Operators Assocation, said: “Recent World Economic Forum statistics showed we are now 139th out of 140 countries in the world for ticket taxes and airport charges (only Chad is placed lower).
“Only a handful of countries in the EU tax passengers on their international air travel at all – today’s announcement makes the UK even more internationally uncompetitive.”
Next month’s rise in APD will be the fifth in as many years. The rate paid is calculated by measuring the distance from London to the final destination’s capital city.
Although travellers visiting continental Europe will not face an increase, a family of four flying to New York, for example, will be asked to contribute £268, up from £260, one visiting the Caribbean will face a £332 tax bill, up from £324, and a family visiting Australia will be forced to hand over £376, up from £368.
How tax on flying has soared
Air Passenger Duty paid by a family of four in economy class
|Band A (0-2000 miles)Europe||£20||£40||£44||£48||£52||£52|
|Band B (2001-4000 miles)USA, Canada, Egypt||£40||£80||£180||£240||£260||£268|
|Band C (4001-6000 miles)Caribbean, Thailand, India||£40||£80||£200||£300||£324||£332|
|Band D (6000 miles+)Australia, Argentina, Singpaore||£40||£80||£220||£340||£368||£376|